Broccoli With Orecchiette


Pungent garlic and spicy red pepper are balanced by the light sweetness of green broccoli in this dish. It also makes for a wonderful side dish with the fish of your choice.


  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 (10-ounces) packages frozen chopped broccoli (do not thaw)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/4 tsp hot red-pepper flakes

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

  • 1 pound dried orecchiette pasta

  • 2 Tbsp salt


  1. Finely chop garlic.

  2. Cook garlic in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, but not brown. Add broccoli, water, red-pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender and almost all of liquid has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 Tbs salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

  4. Toss pasta with broccoli, cheese and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water. Season with salt; thin sauce with more cooking water if desired. Serve with cheese if dairy is allowed in your diet.